July Update: The Dog Days (of Divestment)
As we slide into the sweltering months of summer, we’re keeping up the heat on our campaign to get the DC Council to divest from the most polluting fossil fuel companies. Summer may be the time for outdoor concerts, poolsides and BBQs—yeah, we’re doing plenty of that—but record-breaking heat and extreme storm cycles remind us that climate change action has never been more urgent.
New York Senate introduces Fossil Fuel Divestment Act
State Senator Krueger and Assm Ortiz announced the introduction of a Fossil Fuel Divestment Act which would divest New York State’s $180 Billion Common Retirement Fund of all Fossil Fuel holdings by 2020.
Pope Francis calls for “bold cultural revolution”
Pope Francis stressed the moral imperative to respond to the threat of climate change in his much-anticipated encyclical, Laudauto Si, released June 18th. The document is a charged indictment of the forces driving climate change — including fossil fuel companies — as well as the hugely disproportionate consequences a warmer climate holds for the Earth’s poor and vulnerable.
The Pope’s encyclical received global attention, sparking discussion on climate change among from politicians, business leaders and community members, including those in the DC area. As more and more momentum builds worldwide for action on climate change, there has never been a better time for the District to do its part by divesting from fossil fuels.
Episcopal church votes for fossil fuel divestment
The Episcopal church is the latest faith denomination to call for fossil fuel divestment. In early July, the church’s leadership decided to divest $380 million in holdings from the fossil fuel industry and reinvest in clean energy initiatives. “The vote says that this is a moral issue and that we really have to think about where we are putting our money,” Betsy Blake Bennett, archdeacon in the Episcopal diocese of Nebraska told “The Guardian.”
Health experts call for divestment
Last month, over 50 health experts published an open letter calling on the Wellcome Trust — a UK-based charitable foundation that supports biomedical and scientific research — to divest its shares from the 200 biggest fossil fuel companies.
Diane Rehm covers divestment
Diane Rehm hosted a debate on the effectiveness of the divestment movement on July 1st as a part of her show’s “Environmental Outlook” series. Guests included John Schwartz from The New York Times; Frank Wolak, director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development; and Robert Massie, senior advisor of the Boston Common Asset Management and author of “Loosing The Bonds: The United States and South Africa in the Apartheid Years.”
DC Divest teams up with the Institute for Policy Studies!
We’re delighted to announce that five new interns are joining our campaign this summer. The interns come via the Institute for Policy Studies’ Next Leaders Program, an opportunity for students and recent graduates to develop skills in public scholarship and grassroots activism. DC Divest thanks IPS for its support!
If you’re interested in helping out, we can use your help! Contact us about attending one of our upcoming Tuesday night meetings at firstname.lastname@example.org.